"Heathcliff", 30 x 22", acrylic on paper

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Donation to the Bentley Historical Library

My Aunt Constance Davies Abernathy was a big inspiration and irritation to me. She was very artistic and lived a bigger than life existence as far as I could tell while growing up in suburban Detroit in the swingin '60's.
She was my only aunt, my mother's younger sister and was off in Europe designing buildings and hanging in the Swingin' Paris of the 50's and 60's smoking Galoise cigarettes and sending fussy French dolls to my sister and I twice a year at birthday and Christmas. I had a whole shelf full of them.
We couldn't consider them ours until we wrote the thank you notes and even after that, they weren't really to be played with.
She married JT Abernathy, the potter while at college at the Unviersity of Michigan in Ann Arbor and worked with Buckminster Fuller on a geodesic Unistrut building that lived outside the old Architecture and Design Building at U of M. It was still there when I started art school in the mid 70's.
Her birthday was last week, she would have been 79. She died 16 years ago
and I have had some books she made inthe mid 50's sitting in a box on my
shelf for years.
I thought to show them to Zoltan Pali, a fabulous local architect at Studio Pali Fekete in Culver City. He thought that the U of M might be interested in them. So last week I took them to the Bentley Historical Library on North Campus in Ann Arbor next to the Gerald Ford Library and across the street from the Art School where I finished my degree in the 70's. They were very interested in the books and willing to freshen them up with new plastic and scan the images for me to have some of. The Bentley Historical Library has a great workshop where they treat items with the utmost archival respect. Constance Davies Abernathy gets her own file there. I sent more scans of pictures of her at various stages of her life as they requested. My sister said that it was nice birthday present for her. She always remembered ours.